Habitat for Humanity of Waldo County
How does Habitat for Humanity work?
• Every Habitat house built is paid for in two ways: first, through hundreds of hours of "sweat equity" by the selected partner family; and second, through their monthly mortgage payments.
• Habitat builds modest-size houses, about 1,200 square feet. The monthly no-profit, no-interest mortgage payment is low, usually lower than what the family was paying for rent. House payments revert back to a "Fund for Humanity" so additional houses can be built.
• Applications are considered on the basis of need, ability to repay and willingness to partner with Habitat. Habitat does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, or marital status.
• Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit housing ministry based on Christian principles. We welcome those of any faith - or no faith - to join in the work of eliminating poverty housing from Waldo County.
Who does Habitat serve?
Habitat for Humanity of Waldo County serves hard-working, low-income families who are currently living in sub-standard and/or overcrowded conditions, meet Habitat homeownership requirements, and would not be served by traditional lending agencies. We target families who earn an income below the median income of our community.
What does Habitat do for our community?
The most visible benefit to Waldo County is the physical change that takes place in the neighborhoods where Habitat homes are built. Vacant lots are replaced by new homes where families live surrounded by well-kept yards.
Less visible is the economic impact of a Habitat home. The new homeowner begins to pay real estate taxes on his/her property once they move in.
Where does Habitat build?
Habitat for Humanity of Waldo builds only in Waldo County. We have a goal of building at least one home in every community of Waldo County. We depend on the generosity of our community members to donate affordable, usable sites for our Habitat homes.
How does Habitat decide who gets a house?
Habitat for Humanity of Waldo County’s Family Selection Committee carefully screens applicants. Families are chosen on the basis of need, ability to pay an interest-free mortgage for 20 to 30 years and willingness to provide hundreds of hours of sweat equity. Additional requirements are included in this FAQ sheet and will also be covered in family application workshops.
Are Habitat houses free?
No, Habitat is a "hand up," not a handout. As an investment in their homes, our partner families agree to provide hundreds of hours of sweat equity. This includes working on their own home or other Habitat homes and attending workshops on subjects like home and yard maintenance and budgeting. Each family has a mortgage that is repaid without interest over 20 to 30 years.
How does Habitat select families for home ownership:
Applicants for Habitat for Humanity of Waldo County houses must show a need for better housing and be able to make monthly payments. Before applicants are accepted into our program, two members of the Family Selection Committee will visit them in their homes. All of our Habitat houses are located in Waldo County.
• Need: You will be considered for a Habitat home if your present housing is not adequate, and if you are unable to obtain adequate housing through other conventional means. Lack of adequate housing may include problems with the present structure; water, electrical, or sewage service systems; heating systems; or failure to meet city property maintenance standards. Also taken into consideration are the number, the ages, and the sex of children compared to the number of bedrooms in your home. The percentage of your monthly income that you currently spend on housing is considered to determine need. You will be required to openly and fully discuss your financial situation with a Habitat interviewer.
• Income: To be selected for a Habitat house, a family should have enough income to pay the taxes, utilities, insurance and upkeep costs as well as the no-interest mortgage payments. Families who earn enough to qualify for a home loan (mortgage) from a bank are not qualified for a Habitat house. The most a family can earn and still be approved for a Habitat house increases with the size of the family.
• Ability to pay: Since you will actually be buying your home from Habitat with an interest-free mortgage provided by Habitat, you must demonstrate your ability to make the monthly payment. This payment will include an amount for mortgage payment and also for real estate taxes and homeowners insurance. We will help you to determine if this payment will jeopardize your ability to meet all your other family financial obligations and expenses. We can also help you if you need to develop a budget to determine your eligibility.
• Willingness to partner: You will be responsible for maintenance and repairs of your house from the time you move into your home. After moving into your home, the Family Support Committee will maintain an on-going relationship with you. This includes financial counseling and household maintenance and operation education.
When selected, you become a "partner family" with Habitat. Every Habitat house is paid for in two ways. First, through "sweat equity." Affiliates must require no less than 200 hours of sweat equity per household, including 100 hours in construction with appropriate accommodations made for partners with physical limitations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and second, through their monthly mortgage payments.